What’s it about ?
This is an action-comedy series set in the Edo period, following two drifters who fight their way through hijinks.
Ran, our lead, is someone everyone mistakes for a masterless samurai. She can walk the walk if needed (and WILL win any fight she’s involved in), but her chief concern is to find nice places to rest, and maybe some food despite being perpetually broke.
Meow, her soon-to-be sidekick, is a martial artist from China who randomly stumbles into the same town as Ran this episode. She’s much more bumbling and naive, but no slouch in a fight either. And she’s impressed enough by Ran to stick around with her.
The plot of the week involves a crime group terrorizing a town, with the previous head family haphazardly trying to hire the two heroines to oust them. Very basic stuff that’s enough to showcase the different ways our two leads react to the situation.
Quite good : the action setpieces are quite fluid indeed, and sell both women as badasses.
Also, this is the type of series where you can’t go wrong with an enka opening song.
I’ve said my piece about this show a couple years ago, when I watched it at OM’s recommendation. In short, I didn’t care much for it : it’s a repetitive joke that got on my nerves after a while. It doesn’t help that I feel Samurai Champloo got much more mileage out of a similar setup.
Still, it’s a decent first episode ; the running gags are still fresh, the main characters haven’t annoyed me too much yet, and it looks great for its time. I could see myself put it onto my to-watch list if I hadn’t already seen it. (And then I see the next-episode trailer for the underground sake brewery episode, and urgh. Drunk Ran episodes were the worst.)